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Japan Travel Guide

Arrival & Information

Osaka is situated in the center of Japan, in the Kansai Region. Kansai is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Japan, with its well protected temples and history. Osaka comprises the industrial and business base of the region. For one person who wants to arrive to Osaka, there are several ways as a solution for this problem, such as by plane, train (Shinkansen), bus, boat, etc; each one of them with its advantages and disadvantages.

Osaka by plane

Kansai International Airport (ICAO: KIX) is the main gateway to Osaka more usually known as Itami Airport (ICAO: ITM). Despite the name didn't a single commercial international flight since 1994. This Airport is linked to the Osaka Monorail, but the monorail is costly and describes an arc around the northern suburbs, so to get to the centre of the city you will need to transfer to a suburban Hankyu railway line. A convenient alternative for most is the Airport Limousine Buses, which are available in Itami to several locations within Osaka and elsewhere in the region (Kansai Airport too), with fares starting around ¥500-600.

The regular rate among Tokyo and Osaka is about ¥19 000, however, few travelers pay more than ¥13,000 thanks to the several discount offers on domestic flights.

The flight among Tokyo and Osaka lasts about one hour. A majority of flights use Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Osaka's Itami Airport. A small number of flights also serve Tokyo's Narita Airport and Osaka's Kansai Airport.

Osaka by train

Tokyo and Osaka are linked with each other by the JR Tokaido Shinkansen. Nozomi trains need approximately 155 minutes to reach Shin-Osaka Station from Tokyo. Hikari trains are around 20 minutes slower than the nozomi, while kodama trains take about four hours.

By local trains, the one way trip among Tokyo to Osaka lasts about 9-10 hours and peculiarly involves approximately four transfers of trains. The regular rate is a comparatively costly ¥8510; however, with a Seishun 18 Kippu you can make the trip for as little as (¥2300).

From places west of Osaka, Nozomi trains conduct Okayama (¥6060, 45 minutes), Hiroshima (¥10150, 80 minutes) and Hakata station in Fukuoka (¥14890, 2 1/4 hours). Japan Rail Pass holders can use the Hikari Rail Star service instead, which runs at a similar speed to the Nozomi and makes a few more stops, but its trains are shorter (8 car trains, compared to 16 cars on the Nozomi). Slower Kodama trains connect the rest of the stations on the Shinkansen route.

If you wish to travel from the east without a rail pass, maybe you can get a Puratto Kodama Ticket. This special ticket provides a discount for the all-stopping Kodama services if you buy at least one day in advance. You obtain a reserved seat and a free drink on board. With this ticket a trip among Tokyo and Shin-Osaka costs ¥10000 (save ¥4000) and it lasts four hours.

Note: Only there is one Kodama service per hour from Tokyo, and a few early-morning Kodama trains cannot be used with this ticket.

Osaka by bus

The one way trip among Tokyo and Osaka by highway bus lasts around 8 hours. There are buses for the day and night. The challenge among bus companies on the Tokyo to Osaka route is intense and has offered various discount offers.

The lowest rates for one way trip start around ¥5000. Buses with this price are generally standard buses which provide little comfort. If you wish more comfort, then this trip will cost around ¥8500.

Osaka by boat

Osaka is yet a main port of contact for several of the ferries, these navigate in different routes around Japan and sailing into Osaka Bay is an extraordinary way of approaching the city. From the port, which is west of the city centre, there are excellent transport links to hotels via the subway and train network. There are ferry services among Osaka and Busan (South Korea) three times for a week and Shanghai (China) two times for a week.

Osaka International Ferry Terminal is situated at Nanko in the Osaka Bay Area. To arrive to the port, take the New Tram from Suminoe-koen station to Nankoguchi.

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